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  • Museum of Contemporary ArtMuseum of Contemporary Art Miami, Florida
    The Museum of Contemporary Art of MoCA is found in the heart of north Miami, Florida and the 23,000 square foot building was designed by Gwathmey Siegel & Associates in New York, and they worked with local architects from Gelabert-Navia; opening in February, 1996. The museum started their permanent collection in 1995, with more than 600 works that reflect the finest artistic values that have developed in contemporary art. Those artists included in the magnificent collection include; Matthew Ritchie, John Baldessari, Raymond Pettibon, Dan Flavin, Mariko Mori, Dennis Oppenheim, Edward Kienholz, Alex Katz, Nam June Paik, Edward Ruscha, Pierre Huyghe, Louise Nevelson, Philippe Parreno, Gabriel Orozco, Anna Gaskel, Uta Barth, John Bock, Thomas Hirchhorn, Julian Schnabel, Jose Bedia and Teresita Fernandez. Some of the featured works in the collection include the graphite on paper work of Richard Artschwager from 1995, and untitled, Three Red Paintings from 1988 by John Baldessari, Matthew Barney's Cremaster 2: the Metamorphosis from 1999, Cargo Cult by Jose Bedia from 2005, Zero Hero by John Bock from 2003-2005, Louise Bourgeois untitled sculpture from 2001, Anne Chu's Bestial from 2003 and John Espinosa's Standing Still While Moving Across Land, from 2004.  The museum has become known as the place "where new art is discovered" and it is internationally known as a connoisseur of new trends and directions that happen in the world of contemporary art, originating the majority of its exhibitions, hosting a blend of emerging and legendary artists. Visitors from around the globe, come here to peruse its permanent collection as well as new exhibitions from unknown or just starting out artisans. The museum has many venues during the year that include lectures, concerts, educational and outreach programs that allow the contemporary works to be enjoyed, studied, understandable and accessible through its many cultural travels, enrichment programs and social events.

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  • The Gold Coast Railroad MuseumGold Coast Railroad Museum Miami, Florida
    The Gold Coast Railroad Museum opened in 1956, in Miami, Florida, constructed on a former Naval Air Station named Richmond, that already had three miles of tracks that would be perfect to showcase many of the engines and other railroad cars that the museum would acquire. One of the main attractions is the Presidential Car "Ferdinand Magellan" with a collection of rail transport modeling. It is one of the few in the nation that still offers rides on the numerous engines and cars, with one, a caboose giving a really exciting ride for the entire family. The history of this museum is rather strange, since it was a rare opportunity of various people that came together to create the museum which has become one of the finest in the nation. In 1956, Bill Godfrey was a business administration student at the University of Miami, as well as a railroad enthusiast. While there, he learned that on the south campus there were many miles of unused track sitting on 2100 acres of high pineland that had been a naval air station, a WWII airship base called Richmond. Sometime after the war, the navy abandoned the base, leasing the land to the university for nonprofit and educational reasons. The university then used the base for returning GIs and botanical research. Since the university was an all male campus, the barracks could be used for both students and returning veterans. Bill knew that with the three miles of track, it would be a great place for an operating engine, that could be used for historical, educational and engineering attraction. He went to the university's president, Dr. Jay F. W. Pearson, who also was a fan of the railroads. He liked the idea and the seeds of change began to take growth. The U. S. Sugar Company was based in Clewiston, Florida with a few steam engines that they wanted to retire. Mr. Hare of the company was contacted, with the president and executive vice president going to the town to pick out one of the locomotives, #153. The company agreed to donate the engine to the university, and by 1957, the engine was on its way to the new museum. Once there, the ceremonies took place and over the next year, more equipment was added; like the 1958 Seaboard Air Line Jim Crow car that was part baggage and part passenger, and in August, 1958, an Apalachicola Northern blue caboose was added. They set up the place in one of the old wooden warehouses and named it "Dogpatch Station", and the society members calling the whole thing the Gold Coast Railroad. On Sundays, the society would dress up in proper attire and visitors could ride the train. In April of 1958, the former Presidential Pullman "Ferdinand Magellan became a surplus to the government and it was an armor plated railcar used by Presidents Roosevelt, Truman and Eisenhower. Godfrey found out that the car would be put on the surplus list, knowing that the surplus items had to be offered to any of the 48 states that wanted them. Bill went to the president of the university once more to get the fantastic car, who agreed, and the formal request was made by the state development commission. Since no other state was interested in the old car, it was transferred to the state which in turn gave it to the university. The car arrived without fanfare, and it didn't look special enough to be used as the US Car #1, but no one there cared since they knew its value and history. In 1959 they acquired another passenger car from the Florida East Coast Railway and in 1960 the Atlantic Coast Line donated a wooden caboose. In 1961, the Frisco Line donated a Gondola freight car, as well as the Southern Railway giving a baggage express car, that eventually became the museum car filled with all the memorabilia of railroading. In 1962, the Florida East Coast donated a track section car and in 1965, the Southern Railway donated a freight box car that would be used for spare parts.

January 11, 2011